Elections will test the pulse of states

THE assembly elections in five states — Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram — are crucial as they will set the trend for the real show in the general elections next year. This enjoins a tremendous responsibility on the people.

Of the two major political parties, one has been ruling the country for nearly 45 years. People had voted it to power over and over again with the fond hope of getting good governance. Did it come up to their expectations? If not, should it be given yet another chance?

The other party has been in the saddle for only five years. Was it able to provide a better governance? Is this period enough to judge its performance? Shouldn't it be given at least one more chance?

People are the best judges. They have an onerous responsibility to discharge. As most people are uneducated and ill-informed, political parties will try to woo them. But they have to gather all their wisdom and make the right choice. The media should help them exercise their franchise judiciously.

Wg-Cdr c.l. sehgal (retd), Jalandhar



Crime-tainted netas

Mr H.K. Dua’s article “Who is to govern India?” depicts a very grim picture (Oct. 7). His warning is timely. Criminal elements have not only made inroads into the Assemblies and Parliament but also obtained ministerial berths. Earlier by virtue of their muscle power, these goons used to manage the electoral strategies of their masters by foul means and threatening hapless voters to vote for them. Emboldened by such acts and having sensed their solid base, these behind-the-scene managers, started fighting election themselves and scoring victory.

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are notorious for having a large number of crime-tainted elected representatives. In fact, all states have their own variety of dadas and mafia dons who lend their muscle power to the needy and politicians.

Another concern of Mr Dua is the ineffectiveness of the Election Commission and the Supreme Court in spite of the latter’s best effort to turn round the despicable situation by methods within their means. Even the judiciary, due to this inherent drawbacks and slower pace of legal procedures, has not contributed much towards improving the woeful situation. State Assemblies and Parliament have almost become out of bounds for law-abiding, God-fearing and peace-loving people who simply shudder at the very thought of entering the election battle.

Continuing degeneration of the already worsened situation might not end in the near future. Rabid communalism which has been raising its ugly head every now and then and for which the potential always exists is exploited by the vested interests for garnering votes and achieving malafied aims. All institutions which are assigned the task of maintaining and monitoring law and order in the country would reinvigorate their efforts and usher in visible changes which augur well for this country.



This has reference to Mr H.K. Dua’s article “Who is to govern India?” (Oct 7). If the growing nexus between mafia and politicians is not broken, right-thinking persons would dare not venture into politics. Mr Dua’s concern over the mafia threat in Parliament and state assemblies is true. In polls, by managing their success through ballots, the criminals' initial act in Parliament and the state assemblies is to spoil the system to turn it to suit their whims and fancies by creating a majority of sorts.

If democracy is to be saved from mafia elements, the leaders at the helm should amend the Constitution. If the past experience is any guide, it would be difficult for one to expect the electorate to keep criminals, history-sheeters and musclemen out from the country's politics.

iqbal singh, Bijhari


I fully agree with the conclusion of Mr Dua in his article (Oct 7): “Freedom and democracy cannot be saved without courage”. No doubt, politicians use criminals to get themselves elected and later they have to bow to them and satisfy their demands lest they are let down in the next elections. With such selfish people at the top, how can a state or country prosper?

Surely, people should defeat such politicians in the elections. It is a difficult task but the masses will have to unite and make it effective. The Supreme Court too should ensure that its ruling on banning the entry of those with criminal background into representative institutions should be enforced in letter and spirit.

It is time we took up our responsibilities instead of blaming the corrupt government and its corrupt system. Only a united effort — beginning from the societal level and ending in the system — will help us get rid of these criminals. The law should punish law-breakers severely and should not hesitate to award death sentence to people who commit heinous crimes.

subalakshmi p. durga, Chandigarh


Apropos of Mr H.K. Dua’s article “Who is to govern India?”, by historical claims, India has been invaded and ruled differentially. Now the invasion is from within. The Army and the BSF are adequate on the borders, but internal disorder can be checked only by the people, suitable changes in the parliamentary system of government and the judicial process.

A lot of courage and grit are required to save both freedom and democracy. But an average Indian may not come forward and pay the price to buy nothing. People are busy like rabbied dogs scratching to seduce money, power and status by whatever means possible. Jayaprakash Narayan’s crusade against corruption did not help achieve much. Our Central leaders are as docile as the Buddha.

I feel only a person like Sanjay Gandhi with courage would give the desired quality of governance to the country.

Wg-Cdr t.l. bhardwaj (retd), Chandigarh

India, US and Pakistan

This has reference to the article “Nancy and Rocca at work” by Lt-Gen Ashok Mehta (retd) (Oct 6). He is right in his assessment that the US is not interested in the Kashmir solution.

I feel the US will never be interested in finding a solution to the Kashmir problem. Our MEA and PMO are well aware of this. Ms Nancy Powell and Ms Rocca have given a clean chit to Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf. This is a permanent clean chit whatsoever the General may do. They do not want us to believe what is written in the Pakistani newspapers. The Pentagon and the White House have full control over the General as per their own convenience and suitability.

DR raj kumar gupta, Chandigarh


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